Home » News » Depression and Early Kidney Disease

Depression and Early Kidney Disease

A new study has determined one-fifth of individuals with early stage kidney disease have depression. The finding is important because the association between depression and kidney disease was typically believed to be isolated to end-stage disease.

Researchers led by Susan Hedayati, MD, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, found that the prevalence of major depressive episodes in chronic kidney disease patients is greater than those reported for patients with other chronic diseases including diabetes (11 percent), congestive heart failure (14 percent) and coronary artery disease (16 percent).

Researchers studied 272 patients with CKD in stages two through five who they categorized as depressed or nondepressed based on the presence or absence of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) diagnosis of a current major depressive episode. One in five patients met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for a major depressive episode.

“Unemployment, psychiatric illness and diabetes were factors that seemed to contribute to depression in the chronic kidney disease patients we studied,” says Hedayati.

“Patients with chronic kidney disease should understand that they are at increased risk for depression and ask physicians to monitor them regularly for signs of depression.

“Early screening is especially important since depression is associated with poor outcomes in patients with end stage kidney disease. In fact, long term dialysis patients with clinical depression are twice as likely to die or require hospitalization,” continues Hedayati.

To help patients manage depression, the National Kidney Foundation offers the following tips:

  • Try to be with other people and to confide in someone
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep per day
  • Exercise regularly; even if it’s taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking the car farther away from the store

The study is published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

Source: The National Kidney Foundation, Inc

Depression and Early Kidney Disease

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Depression and Early Kidney Disease. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.